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Illegal mining posing threat to KRS dam! Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh meets Union Jal Shakti minister, demands CBI probe

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New Delhi: Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh on Tuesday met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawath and urged for CBI probe against illegal mining posing a threat KRS reservoir in Mandya in Karnataka.

Sumalatha Ambareesh met the Union minister at his office and explained about illegal mining activities going on unabated in the proximity of KRS.

Sumalatha in her letter to the minister  pointing that “No less an authority than the Supreme Court has made observations regarding the structural damage to the KRS reservoir on account of the use of heavy explosives and blasting within 20 km radius of the reservoir structure.”

Despite this observation, and concern of the Supreme Court, it has come to my attention that there is still rampant, uninterrupted and illegal mining, involving heavy explosives and blasting, being carried out. “During my visits, I have been receiving regular complaints from the residents of villages in the vicinity. Some of the complaints that I have received include as follows;

1. Impending threat of breach of the KRS reservoir structure due to blasting from heavy explosives and the consequential tremors.

2. Illegal mining activity has caused air and water pollution, environmental hazards to human habitation including repeated miscarriages and breathing difficulties.

3. Threat to the animal life including indigenous and endangered species at the renowned Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary has affected and created livestock fodder scarcity.

4. Damage to potable water sources (which have been contaminated due to the debris from blasting) and ground water has been depleted.

5. Damage to dwellings including collapse of structures and shattered window panes of houses of those villages surrounded by the areas where rampant illegal mining activity is being carried out.

6. Adverse impact on agricultural activities because of the pollution and damage to the soil.

7. Threat of encroachment and irreparable damage to National Reserve Forests of Nagarahole and Bandipur.

8. Threat of loss of Human life. Multiple farmers have threatened to commit suicide because of the dire threats that they have received from elected and other officials if they approach the proper authorities to complain about the rampant illegal mining. Simultaneously they are unable to continue their agricultural activities because of the environmental degradation caused by the rampant illegal mining.

As detailed above, there is a continuing and impending environmental disaster that will affect millions of Indians. As I have mentioned the illegal mining is being carried out with the complicity of elected representativesirrespective and public officials. I therefore implore that you direct a central agency such as the CBI to investigate into the rampant illegal mining within the vicinity of the KRS reservoir to help stop and avert any further irreparable damage and loss of life.

The conservation and improvement of the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Reservoir and the rivers of Karnataka is a responsibility that has been very close to my family for several years. Your involvement on the issues mentioned above will be decisive in the future of the habitability of the district and the lives of millions of Kannadigas and beyond, explained Sumalatha in her letter to the minister.

– Team Mysoorunews


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